Otago Region –Interesting Facts and One Conclusion

ORC and Election
Lake Dunstan near Clye Dam
Lake Dunstan near the Clyde Dam

Some Facts and Figures

  • Otago is New Zealand’s second largest region, boasting a diverse landscape from rugged coastlines, vast central plains, spectacular mountains, and alpine lakes.
  • Otago makes up 12% of New Zealand’s land mass; approximately 32,000 square kilometres.
  • The Clutha River/Mata-Au at 338km is the second longest river in New Zealand and has the highest volume and largest catchment (21,960 square kilometres).
  • Otago’s lakes constitute about 23% of New Zealand’s total lake surface area and include Wakatipu, Wānaka, Hāwea, Dunstan, and Roxburgh.
  • Otago has 480 kilometres of coastline with environments ranging from pebble beaches, basalt formations, rolling farms, striking cliff heads, and sandy beaches.
  • Urbanised areas in Otago cover about 1% of total land area.
  • 87% of the regional population resides in urban settlements.
  • Otago’s population in 2020 was 245,300 (Statistics New Zealand subnational population estimates).
  • Dunedin City has the largest population followed by Queenstown.
  • Otago’s regional GDP was valued at NZ $13,227 million in 2019.
  • Otago industries sustained 129,085 jobs in 2019.

(from Otago Regional Council Pre-Election Report 2022)

The population of the territorial authorities within the Otago Region is:

Population by Territorial Local Authority

My additional figures – using same and similar sources as above

  • Otago has 5% of NZ population.
  • Otago has 4.5% of NZ GDP.
  • Otago has 5% of NZ jobs.
  • Otago has 12% of NZ land.
  • Otago has 23% of NZ lakes.

My Conclusion

The Otago Regional Council is responsible for managing a very significant amount of New Zealand’s water, land, and air, with a much smaller proportion of the rating base. Rock; hard place; between.

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